East Coast unveils multi-million pound transformation of station to create new-look gateway to the North East
Exciting plans to transform Newcastle Central station into an impressive new gateway to the city and the wider North East region have been unveiled. The £8.6 million project will provide a stunning new facility for thousands of passengers, and will enhance the historic original Victorian station design. The new-look station will provide a welcoming first impression for visitors to the city, and will be a key part of wider regeneration in the surrounding area of Newcastle city centre.
Its centrepiece will be the pedestrianisation and glazing of the station’s front portico, to create a dramatic new public and retail space.
Construction work is now underway and as a result there is no vehicular access through the station portico entrance. The taxi rank has also moved.
To make planning your journey easier, we thought it would be helpful to advise you of alternative access arrangements that have been made:
Drop-Off and Short-Stay Parking
A drop-off/short-stay parking area is available to the west of the portico, near Sainsbury’s, and is accessible from Bewick Street via the new traffic signals. There is no left turn into this area from Neville Street to ensure that any queues to access this area do not block traffic flow at the front of the station.
Black Hackney taxi cabs and private hire cabs will also use this area for customer drop-offs.
Black Hackney cabs will pick up to the east of the portico and private hire taxis will pick up to the west of the portico.
Access to the long-stay car-park from Neville Street remains unchanged.
Pedestrians and CyclistsAccess to the station is available as usual through two access points into/out of the portico.
The project is in partnership with Network Rail, the rail infrastructure provider which owns the station building.
The improvements for station users include:
• A new, pedestrianised public and retail space in the front portico, with glazing in the arches to enclose the space and provide weather protection
• A doubling of the retail space to offer exciting new retail and leisure choices – similar to those now available at the refurbished London King’s Cross
• Improved passenger facilities including a new travel centre, better toilet facilities and clearer signage
• The amount of covered cycle storage space will more than double, compared with existing facilities
• A simpler layout that will give new prominence to the original building design and improve sightlines across the station's main concourse.
The architectural heritage of the station is at the heart of the new design. The station’s simplified layout will open up sightlines towards the Castle Keep, whilst showcasing the distinctive curvature of the arched roof.
Taxis will be available at a new rank directly to the east of the portico. Newcastle City Council and business improvement district company NE1 are working on a complementary project which aims to improve access to this area of the city centre.
The station improvement work is due to begin in May, and is expected to be completed in April next year. The station will operate as normal throughout the works.
The project is being funded by the Department for Transport’s Station Commercial Project Facility Fund. East Coast is working with rail infrastructure provider Network Rail to deliver the improvements. A Newcastle-based team from Ryder Architecture has designed the improvements to the station building, while works will be carried out by Miller Construction.
The development at Newcastle Central station follows the successful work by Network Rail to redevelop London King’s Cross, the other historic Grade One listed location on the East Coast Main Line. The new retail space at Newcastle will be equivalent to that at King’s Cross, and East Coast expects to attract a similar range of leading retailers. The dramatic portico space at Newcastle will be similarly striking to King’s Cross’ new single-span domed concourse.
Newcastle Central is a key station on the national rail network. East Coast provides high-speed, long-distance services to London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, and Scotland, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. There are 56 East Coast services from the station each weekday, including the flagship Flying Scotsman express which departs Newcastle at 07.03 and runs non-stop to London in just 2 hours 37 minutes.
Newcastle Central station is also a key public transport hub in Tyne and Wear, with its own Metro station and a range of local rail services to destinations across the North East. East Coast has been working closely with the City Council, NEXUS and other partners to ensure the improvements benefit all station users.